Winx flaunts dapples ahead of Turnbull

Source: Luke Sheehan

Trainer Chris Waller has provided an update on the world’s best racehorse, Winx, ahead of her attempt at 28 successive wins, and 21 Group 1 victories, in Saturday’s TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

“She has settled in well to our Flemington base,” Waller said.

“Obviously she has been there [in the spring] for the past three years and it is like a second home to her.

“Having our own facilities is a big plus when travelling horses – not just for the horses but also for trainers and staff, giving us a sense of routine and making sure that the horses are comfortable at all times.

“Since being in Melbourne, Winx has settled in well and managed to have two nice pieces of work out on the course proper at Flemington, which provides a lovely galloping surface.

“Saturday’s TAB Turnbull Stakes looks a nice race for her, obviously we always respect our opposition and again we see some new challengers to her.
“They are horses who all deserve respect heading towards their various targets.

“Winx has drawn barrier eight in a field of 10 which is a nice draw; she seemed so at home last year when running at Flemington for the first time and it just seems to be a natural galloping track for horses to jump, find their rhythm and steadily build momentum.

“I am really looking forward to getting her there on Saturday.
“She looks in very good condition, her spring coat is starting to come through now and she has dappled up and is ready to head to Flemington so we are thoroughly looking forward to it.”

Winx is taking on the likes of stablemate Youngstar for the very first time, the Queensland Oaks winner and Queensland Derby placegetter drawing barrier four of 10 for Kerrin McEvoy.

“She is heading toward the Caulfield Cup but on Saturday she has drawn well in gate four and it is a nice weight with 54.5kg so obviously Winx has to give her 2.5kg,” Waller added.

“I would just like to see her be competitive; she is getting up to a more suitable distance and is racing against some nice horses who are also heading towards similar targets as her.

“It will give me a good guide as to what to expect in the Caulfield Cup in two weeks’ time. It is good to have Kerrin McEvoy down from Sydney to ride, he has ridden her in the majority of her starts and he had no luck last start but from the good barrier and with the nice, long straight I am sure she will be doing her best work late.”

Should Winx do what we expect her to do on Saturday, Youngstar will then be looking to make it three Winx-headed stable one-twos for Waller – the most famous being when Foxplay very nearly beat Winx in the then-Warwick Stakes last year.

Winx also topped an all-Waller trifecta in the 2016 George Ryder Stakes.

In what feels like standard practice for the sizable Waller stable, they have 19 runners accepted for across three venues on Saturday – 13 at Randwick, three at Doomben and three at Flemington.

The ‘third’ at Flemington just happens to be quite handy as well, and Invincibella has been keeping Winx company during her time in Melbourne.

She will be lining up in the G2 Blazer Stakes (1400m), the last on the nine-race card at 5:40pm.

“She has travelled down with Winx and has been her travelling companion this preparation,” Waller said.

“Both horses seem to get on well with each other and it is good for both horses. Invincibella comes to Flemington in very good form, she was very unlucky last start not to have won but she did win well first-up.

“She has drawn a bit wide on Saturday but I don’t think draws are too much of a concern with her, or at Flemington. She likes to race with a bit of room and will get that from this barrier. She is gradually creeping up in the weights but her form over the past year or so has certainly been very good.